Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking

advantages and disadvantages of hitchhiking

You want to get around but don’t have a car or any other means of transportation available?

Then you might think about hitchhiking.

However, before you go for it, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of hitchhiking in the following chapters to avoid common issues in this regard.

Advantages of Hitchhiking

  1. You can save lots of money through hitchhiking
  2. Hitchhiking is common all over the world
  3. Hitchhiking has become increasingly popular over the past decades
  4. You can socialize through hitchhiking
  5. Hitchhiking can be exciting
  6. You become more flexible through hitchhiking
  7. You can grow in character
  8. Hitchhiking forces you to get out of your comfort zone
  9. You learn how to adapt to certain situations
  10. Good option if you don’t have a car
  11. Good if you don’t have a driver’s license
  12. Good option if there is bad public transport

You can save lots of money through hitchhiking

One advantage of hitchhiking is that you can save lots of money on gas and other expenses related to a car.

In fact, owning a car implies significant costs, not only for gas but also for maintenance and so on.

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In turn, by hitchhiking, there will be no need to own a car but you can rather rely on someone else to do all the work for you.

Consequently, you will have more time and money to spend on other things and don’t have to do all the annoying things as car owners out there have to do.

Thus, hitchhiking can definitely make sense from an economical perspective and especially if you are on a budget right now, hitchhiking can be a great way to get around.

Hitchhiking is common all over the world

Hitchhiking has not only become popular in the US but also all around the world.

In fact, if you travel and don’t have a car, it will be pretty easy to get around through hitchhiking also in Europe, in Asia and in many other parts of the world since people will often be friendly and will be willing to take you on board.

Hence, hitchhiking can not only be great while you are at home but it can also be a great way to get around on your travels since you don’t have to spend money on a rental car but can rather get a ride from someone else.

Hitchhiking has become increasingly popular over the past decades

Another upside to hitchhiking is that it has become increasingly popular over the past years and decades.

An increasing number of people use hitchhiking to get around and the more popular hitchhiking gets, the more socially accepted it will become and the more people will be willing to take you on board.

Consequently, it is a great time to hitchhike right now since you will have numerous people who are willing to take you with them without having to wait for many hours or even days as in former decades when almost nobody wanted to support hitchhikers at all.

You can socialize through hitchhiking

Hitchhiking also gives you a great opportunity to socialize and to make new friends.

Since you will always travel with new people you haven’t seen before, it offers you a great way to meet people from many different social classes.

In turn, you can really learn a lot about the world in general and also about how the lives of people in different social classes look like.

In turn, you will be better able to decide what kind of life you want to aspire to in the future.

Moreover, you can also make many connections in the long run.

For instance, if you are good at starting conversations about topics that are relevant to you right now, you may also get some benefits out of your ride.

For example, you could talk about the corporate world and that you think about changing your job right now.

If you are lucky, the driver may have good contacts with renowned companies and this may give you a chance to get a foot in the door in those companies.

In turn, it may be easier for you to get your dream job.

Hitchhiking can be exciting

For many people out there, hitchhiking is more than an option to get around.

In fact, many people really love hitchhiking and it is just part of their lives since hitchhiking can be really exciting since you never know how it will turn out.

Consequently, there is a high level of insecurity involved in it and if you search for the thrill and always want to experience new things, hitchhiking will definitely be a great way to get around for you.

You become more flexible through hitchhiking

Another benefit of hitchhiking is that you will also just become much more flexible in general.

If you hitchhike on a regular basis, you will experience all sorts of problems that come along with it.

However, by mastering those issues, you will become a more relaxed person since you will be able to put things into perspective and you will also expect minor issues along the way.

You will also learn that not everything goes as planned and this will give you a good lesson for life in general since the more flexible you are, the higher your chance to succeed in various parts of life.

You can grow in character

In general, hitchhiking also allows you to really grow in character.

Since you will be able to talk to so many people, you will soon become a completely different person since our conversation partners will greatly determine our view on the world and the more you talk and the more stories you hear, the better you will be able to understand what’s going on out there and the more likely you will be to make really good decisions in your future life.

Hitchhiking also makes you more tolerant in general since you will soon realize that there is nothing wrong with minorities or people who belong to a different religion than you since most of those people are still friendly and will be nice to you if you are nice to them.

Hitchhiking forces you to get out of your comfort zone

Hitchhiking can also be a great training for your future life since you will have to get out of your comfort zone quite often.

In fact, you will have to deal with many issues and unexpected situations if you go hitchhiking on a regular basis and while those situations might not always be comfortable, they still give you the opportunity to develop and to become a more mature person over time.

You will also become much more open to new things which will enable you to deal with certain problems much better.

You learn how to adapt to certain situations

In general, hitchhiking can also be great to learn how to adapt to new situations.

If you are a rather inflexible person right now who is afraid to do new things and rather wants to stay inside your own four walls, hitchhiking can be a great training since it forces you out of your comfort zone and also puts you in tough spots from time to time.

In turn, you will have no choice other than to adapt to new situations and you can learn from those things quite a lot.

In fact, learning to adapt to new conditions and circumstances is crucial to succeeding in all parts of life and the better you are able to adapt, the more successful you will become in life in general.

Good option if you don’t have a car

In general, hitchhiking can also make sense if you don’t have a car and also don’t want to buy one anytime soon.

Many people out there just can’t afford renting or buying a car and search for alternatives to get around.

In such a case, hitchhiking can be great since you will be able to travel and to get to your appointments without having to invest any money at all.

Good if you don’t have a driver’s license

Some people even don’t have a driver’s license.

If you are one of those people and are also not able to get your license for various reasons, you might also want to rely on hitchhiking since it will just give you more flexibility in life compared to a state where you just rely on getting around by bike or other rather slow means of transport.

Good option if there is bad public transport

Hitchhiking can also be a great way to get around in case there is bad public transport in your region.

If buses and trains are pretty unreliable, it can make sense to just rely on hitchhiking on a regular basis since it will just be the much quicker option and will also be more reliable, at least if you choose drivers whom you already know and don’t rely on strangers to get from A to B when you have to get to important appointments in time.

As you can see, hitchhiking can have many advantages.

However, there are also some downsides related to it that I want to discuss with you in the following chapter so that you are better able to decide whether you still want to use hitchhiking or rather go for alternative options to get around instead.

Disadvantages of Hitchhiking

  1. Hitchhiking can be risky
  2. You never know what kind of person you will travel with
  3. You will be less flexible
  4. Driving skills of the car owner may be quite bad
  5. Fellow hitchhikers may be annoying
  6. You have to make compromises
  7. Hitchhiking can be uncomfortable
  8. People may just not show up
  9. Cars often smell quite poorly
  10. The driver may be drunk
  11. Many people don’t feel safe hitchhiking
  12. Not good if you want to have your own space
  13. Better alternatives out there

Hitchhiking can be risky

One problem with hitchhiking is that it can be pretty risky.

In fact, you never know whether your fellow passengers are nice people or if they are dodgy.

If you make a bad choice and get into a car with a stranger, you can never be entirely sure to get from A to B in a safe manner.

There had been incidents in the past and especially if you are a woman, you should be quite careful in this regard and should know how to defend yourself in case of emergency.

You never know what kind of person you will travel with

In general, you will often not know all car occupants and if you don’t like being in a car with strangers on a regular basis, hitchhiking will just not be for you. Your fellow passengers may just be drunk or may also make fun of you.

They may have strange views of the world or may also have extreme religious attitudes.

By hitchhiking, you will have to deal with all those issues sooner or later and you should know how to master those situations properly to minimize the risk of getting into trouble in this regard.

You will be less flexible

If you rely on hitchhiking instead of having your own car, you will just be far less flexible when it comes to detours or how to structure your day in general.

If you have your own car, you can do whatever you want and you can also make stops whenever you like.

However, if you go hitchhiking, you will be dependent on the driver and if the driver is not a nice person or just has no time to stop for you, you will just not be able to do many things you might like to do.

Driving skills of the car owner may be quite bad

Another disadvantage of hitchhiking is that you will not have control over the car you sit in at all. Instead, you have to rely on the driver to get from A to B.

This can be a real problem, especially if the driving skills of the driver are quite bad. In such a case, you will often feel pretty uncomfortable and will secretly pray to get to your destination in a safe manner, which can stress your nerves quite a lot in the long run.

Fellow hitchhikers may be annoying

You may also get annoyed by your fellow hitchhikers pretty soon.

They may listen to loud music or may talk without taking a breath.

If you are in a car with those kinds of people, there will just not be any way to escape those annoying situations until you finally reach your destination and if you are a rather inflexible person, you may be better off getting your own car instead of getting into a car with strangers.

You have to make compromises

Another downside to hitchhiking is that you will also have to compromise quite a lot.

If you have your own car and don’t take anyone with you, you will be free whatever you want to do as long as you obey traffic rules.

However, if you get into a car with many other people you don’t know yet, chances are that those people will have a completely different idea of what a good ride looks like and you will have to adjust quite a lot to make everyone happy.

Hitchhiking can be uncomfortable

In general, hitchhiking can also be quite uncomfortable, especially if you hitchhike in a pretty old car in which air conditioning or heating has already broken down.

In such a case, you will often have a pretty poor experience and may secretly wish to be in your own car instead of being dependent on the old cars of others.

People may just not show up

If you rely on hitchhiking, you will also meet many unreliable people and if you organize hitchhiking opportunities in advance, people may often just not show up at all. In such a case, you have to find an alternative to get to where you want to go pretty soon to not be late.

Cars often smell quite poorly

Many cars also smell quite poorly.

While this may not be a big problem for short distances, it can become really disgusting if you are on a long ride and have to deal with this smell for many hours.

The driver may be drunk

You should also not expect all drivers to be sober.

In fact, there are many drunk drivers out there and some of them also take certain substances that greatly adversely affect their style of driving which makes it more likely to get involved in serious accidents and if you want to be on the safe side in this regard, you may rather want to drive your own car instead of relying on someone else.

Many people don’t feel safe hitchhiking

Many people also get a pretty strange feeling getting into a car with a stranger.

Even though the stranger might be pretty nice, you can never be sure about it and you may therefore also not be able to enjoy your ride that much since your brain may be in alarming mode for the whole ride.

Not good if you want to have your own space

In general, hitchhiking will not be a great option for you in case you need your own space and don’t like to rely on others.

In such a case, you will be far better off getting your own car since you will just be more independent and can live your life according to your own rules and preferences.

Better alternatives out there

While hitchhiking has been a good way to get around for many decades, there are simply better alternatives out there right now to get from A to B in a cheap manner.

For instance, you can just use carpooling services or Uber to get to your destination in a much faster and reliable manner.

Top 10 Hitchhiking Pros & Cons – Summary List

Hitchhiking ProsHitchhiking Cons
Hitchhiking helps you socializeHitchhiking can be stressful
You can save money on gasHitchhiking can be risky
You don’t have to own a carYou get into a car with strangers
You can grow in characterYou will be less flexible
Hitchhiking makes you more tolerantHitchhiking can be annoying
You don’t have to drive yourselfPoor driving skills may let you worry
You get out of your comfort zoneFellow passengers may stress your nerves
Common all over the worldHitchhiking can be uncomfortable
Hitchhiking has become popularYou have to compromise quite a lot
Hitchhiking can be excitingYou may not feel safe

Should You Use Hitchhiking?

As you can see, hitchhiking can make sense for various reasons.

However, there are still many downsides related to hitchhiking and instead of relying on hitchhiking, you might rather want to use our modern technologies and use official ride sharing and carpooling services instead.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchhiking

https://hitchwiki.org/en/Main_Page

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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